Maddon says he hasn't noticed many pace changes

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Monday night's Cubs game was played in a snappy 2 hours, 20 minutes. One big reason for the quick game was that Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel walked no batters.

    Monday night's Cubs game was played in a snappy 2 hours, 20 minutes. One big reason for the quick game was that Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel walked no batters. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/29/2015 12:00 AM

There will be no jokes here about Cubs manager Joe Maddon managing before empty stadiums in Tampa Bay before he came to Chicago.

The subject of an empty ballpark came up after it was announced that the White Sox and Orioles will play before an empty house in Baltimore on Wednesday because of public-safety concerns after rioting there.

 

Maddon was asked if he had been through anything similar.

"It's called Instructional League," he said. "No, I've never to that degree. It's really unfortunate that it's gone to that point. I'm ashamed to say I've not followed it really closely to this point. But it will be very awkward for the players. You hear a lot of people talk about Instructional League and spring training, on the bench and in the ballpark when nobody's there, it's been in pro ball for a long time."

Maddon then related a story.

"Crazy stuff, man," he said. "There was a time in Walla Walla, where there was 50 people there. We were playing the Walla Walla Padres ... You could hear the radio broadcaster. This was like a high school field. There was like literally 35 people behind home plate. You could hear the announcer the entire game as he was broadcasting -- 1982, I believe it was. I always left town with a box full of Walla Walla sweet onions. It was outstanding."

On a more serious note, the 61-year-old Maddon was asked if he drew any parallels between the unrest in Baltimore and that of the 1960s across many cities.

"I think the causation is different than back in the day," he said. "This is just a bunch of people wanting to get out there and burn things up and create problems right now, as opposed back then they were definitely fighting for a specific cause, I think.

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"I haven't followed it closely enough, but I don't think you could draw the dots yet compared to what happened at Watts and those other places back in the '60s and '70s compared to what's happening in Baltimore right now."

Does anybody really know ...?

Pace of game has been a big focus of Major League Baseball this year. Monday night's Cubs-Pirates game was played in a snappy 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Joe Maddon was asked if he has noticed any difference.

"I don't know time," he said. "I really don't. When you're involved in the game, at the end it will be over and I'll say, 'What time is it?' "

One big reason for the quick game was that Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel walked no batters.

"He had a nice pace in between pitches, and I like that," Maddon said. "I've always been in favor of that."

Minor matters:

Center-field prospect Albert Almora went on the disabled list Tuesday at Class AA Tennessee. Almora, the Cubs' first-round draft choice in 2012 (sixth overall pick), injured himself diving for a ball. Reports say he described his injury as "whiplash."

Jacob Hannemann was promoted from Class A Myrtle Beach to Tennessee, and he homered Tuesday night, as did Kyle Schwarber, last year's first-round pick. Tuesday's homer was Schwarber's fourth. He also homered Monday.

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